Stephens assumed coverage on shares of American Express Co. (NYSE:AXP) in a research report sent to investors on Friday morning. The brokerage issued an underweight rating and a $71.78 price objective on the payment services company’s stock.

A number of other equities research analysts also recently issued reports on AXP. Vetr downgraded American Express from a sell rating to a strong sell rating and set a $64.38 price target for the company. in a research report on Tuesday, November 15th. TheStreet raised American Express from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Tuesday, November 15th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded American Express from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Friday, November 11th. Barclays PLC set a $63.00 price target on American Express and gave the company a hold rating in a research report on Thursday, October 20th. Finally, Jefferies Group reissued a hold rating and set a $60.00 price target on shares of American Express in a research report on Saturday, October 22nd. Eight analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eighteen have issued a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $67.37.

Analyst Recommendations for American Express (NYSE:AXP)

Shares of American Express (NYSE:AXP) traded up 0.34% during midday trading on Friday, hitting $71.24. The stock had a trading volume of 443,322 shares. The company has a market cap of $65.20 billion, a P/E ratio of 12.66 and a beta of 1.19. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $65.54 and a 200-day moving average of $64.36. American Express has a one year low of $50.27 and a one year high of $72.74.

American Express (NYSE:AXP) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, October 19th. The payment services company reported $1.24 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.96 by $0.28. The firm earned $7.80 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $7.70 billion. American Express had a return on equity of 27.84% and a net margin of 16.67%. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 5.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $1.24 earnings per share. Analysts forecast that American Express will post $5.73 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, November 10th. Shareholders of record on Friday, October 7th were paid a dividend of $0.32 per share. This is a boost from American Express’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.29. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, October 5th. This represents a $1.28 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.80%. American Express’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 22.70%.

In other American Express news, insider Susan Sobbott sold 19,186 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, November 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $70.45, for a total transaction of $1,351,653.70. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 56,870 shares in the company, valued at $4,006,491.50. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, insider Ashwini Gupta sold 140,808 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, October 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $67.18, for a total transaction of $9,459,481.44. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 239,718 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $16,104,255.24. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 0.78% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Cacti Asset Management LLC boosted its position in American Express by 0.3% in the second quarter. Cacti Asset Management LLC now owns 524,317 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $31,858,000 after buying an additional 1,390 shares during the period. Stock Yards Bank & Trust Co. boosted its position in American Express by 9.1% in the second quarter. Stock Yards Bank & Trust Co. now owns 6,002 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $365,000 after buying an additional 499 shares during the period. Boltwood Capital Management boosted its position in American Express by 1.9% in the second quarter. Boltwood Capital Management now owns 24,586 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $1,494,000 after buying an additional 465 shares during the period. Kistler Tiffany Companies LLC boosted its position in American Express by 13.6% in the second quarter. Kistler Tiffany Companies LLC now owns 2,625 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $159,000 after buying an additional 315 shares during the period. Finally, Iowa State Bank boosted its position in American Express by 4.1% in the second quarter. Iowa State Bank now owns 19,438 shares of the payment services company’s stock worth $1,181,000 after buying an additional 760 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 82.13% of the company’s stock.

About American Express

American Express Company is a services company. The Company’s principal products and services are charge and credit payment card products, and travel-related services offered to consumers and businesses around the world. The Company’s segments include U.S. Consumer Services (USCS), International Consumer and Network Services (ICNS), Global Commercial Services (GCS) and Global Merchant Services (GMS).

5 Day Chart for NYSE:AXP

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